Public Divided Over Birth Control Insurance Mandate

Feb 14, 2012

About six-in-ten Americans (62%) have heard about the proposed federal rule that would require employers, including most religiously affiliated institutions, to cover birth control as part of their health care benefits. Among those aware of the issue, opinion is closely divided over whether these institutions should be given an exemption to the rule if they object to the use of contraceptives: 48% support an exemption and 44% say they should be required to cover contraceptives like other employers.

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, conducted Feb. 8-12 among 1,501 adults, finds sharp divisions on the issue by religious affiliation, party and ideology.

The Obama administration announced Feb. 10 that it would modify the mandate in response to criticism that the rule would force religious organizations to violate their religious beliefs in providing contraception coverage. The survey shows little difference in opinions among people interviewed before the administration’s proposed modification on Feb. 10 and those interviewed afterwards.

Read the full report, Public Divided Over Birth Control Insurance Mandate, on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.

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